How to earn online as a Musician in 4 ways

Making money from music isn’t easy, but it’s not impossible. By setting up diversified, automated revenue streams⁠, musicians are able to reduce the risk and take a chance on their dream career. There are tons of ways a musician can make money without relying on hard ticket sales. Building out your online presence is not only a great way to invest in yourself, it’s a great way to diversify where your money comes from. Passive income is good income, especially while we’re all waiting for live shows to come back. Here are 4 ways musicians can make money online without leaving the house.


1. Make your music available for streaming

The vast majority of listening is happening on major streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. This means that making your songs available on these platforms is essential to reach your current fans, as well as for reaching potential new fans.

While streaming revenue is usually measured in fractions of pennies per stream, it can add up to become a significant revenue source over time. 

2. Earn streaming royalties through digital distribution

It’s important here to understand the difference between a streaming service and a distribution network: 

Musicians don’t really have a choice when it comes to streaming services. Not even the biggest artists in the world are protected from backlash when removing their music from popular streaming platforms. 

It’s important that you stream your work on Spotify and Apple Music, the two largest, most globally available services. Other popular streaming services include Google Play, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music—plus genre-specific streaming services like BeatPort and JunoDownload, both of which cater to music producers and fans.

3. Monetize your YouTube channel

The first step to monetizing your YouTube channel is to upload all of your music to your channel. From there, you’ll need to set up YouTube monetization on your account. 

Also, any time music you own is used in a YouTube video, whether on your own channel or someone else’s, you’re entitled to collect your share of the ad revenue generated. A digital distribution company like CD Baby can help ensure that you get all the money that you’re owed.

4. Teach music lessons online

Over the last few years, many musicians found an extra revenue stream by teaching their instruments online to their fans. 

Whether through Zoom or recorded video lessons, teaching music lessons can be a great way to generate some additional income. You can even take it a step further and sell video lessons, sheet music, and more using fan subscriptions.

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